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I'm Loving It

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Today is the 50th birthday of McDonald's.

I was going to regale you with stories of going to the first McDonald's on Long Island or eating things that have since been banned from the menu or getting my meals in styrofoam boxes that are long gone or green shakes or getting kicked out the local McD's several times one school year or trying to drive while completely stoned and eating a Big Mac or driving to dozens of McDonald's in one day, buying a ridiculous amount of Happy Meals, trying to complete the Power Ranger zord.

But, no. I won't, because my head is clouded with a potentially lethal cocktail of pollen, Sudafed and Excedrin. Instead, I'm going to walk across the street and go to McDonald's to get myself a #2, which is the two cheeseburger meal, which has been my favorite since they started offering it. And I'm going to supersize it, with a raspberry iced tea and lots of extra salt on my fries, no ketchup and maybe an apple pie on the side.

So I was going to have a contest, like I did for the Twinkies birthday, but I don't if anyone wants to write a poem about fast food.

So let's just talk about McDonald's, ok? Unless you feel like writing a poem, then have at it.

I'm loving it!

(such a slave to the jingle and fast food, I know)

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» A Super-Sized Birthday from Late Final
Michele is hosting a birthday party for McDonald's, which is celebrating its 50th birthday today. And, if you're interested, you can join in the celebration by purchasing a Mayor McCheese limited edition collector's glass. (Pen and pen holder not inclu... [Read More]

Comments

With apologies to Ogden Nash:

Liquor is quicker but the Quarter Pounder makes you rounder.

#2 is the quarter pounder meal here. They switched in from #3 a couple years ago.

I miss mayor McCheese. And counter people who speak English.

McDonalds is your kind of place
Hamburgers in your face
French fries up your nose
Pickles between your toes
McDonalds is your kind of place.

I have all those beanie babies in a bin somewhere.

I remember when McDonalds was clean as a whistle, istead of fly-ridden, flea bitten and sticky-floored; when the fries were irresistible; "caution: filling is hot" was enough to ward off a lawsuit; and the burgers were freshly prepared with out use of non-ionizing radiation.

My first job was at McDonald's. It was January 1982, and I'd been 16 for all of three months. I had a friend whose dad was the manager, and she hooked me up with a job.

Orders were taken on order slips, and I had to add them up on the slip and ring them up on a cash register -- no pushing Extra Value #1 on a computer, younguns! -- PLUS figure out sales tax in. my. head. (Luckily for me, the math-tard, Illinois had 5% sales tax back then.)

I wore a rust-colored striped tunic and a floppy school-boy hat, also striped, both of which never lost their grease smell no matter how many times you washed them. I never got to work drive-thru, but then again I never had to work breakfast either.

The McChicken was introduced to our store about a month after I started. It hadn't gone national yet; we were a test store. There were no McNuggets.

Other tidbits I remember:

You're supposed to ask "do you want fries with that?" It's called suggestive selling, and we got in BAD trouble if we did ask. It also works, btw.

When you hand the customer their bag, the McDonald's logo is supposed to be facing out towards them.

We hand-made our milk shakes out of ice cream, and fried both our french fries AND our apple and cherry pies in lard. In my opinion, they tasted better than they do now.

Everything in a McDonald's store, right down to the fry oil and the cleaning products, comes from McDonalds and carries the McDonalds logo.

And last but not least. . ."If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean!"

A little under a year from now I saw "Super Size Me" and have never returned to eat at McDonalds. Sadly, I do miss those Big-Macs.

Link to "happy place" commercial, which aired before the seventies came along and ruined everything. Napkins as big as a bib!!!

Haiku:

McDonald's sucks; I
just eat there to annoy the
"Super-Size Me" guy

Back in the late 70's, the McDonald's near my office carried a raspberry pastry that we used to order with butter melted on top. It came in the stryofoam container, and along with a large O.J. was the best breakfast in the world. I still haven't found any pastry or croissant that tastes as good as that one did.

I'm probably one of the few that dislikes McDonald's hamburgers - it's the secret sauce. There must be chopped pickles in it - or maybe it's made with Miracle Whip? - because I loathe that stuff, and the taste of them ruins any food for me.

Remember this? Best commercial campaign ever.

"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun."

Trying saying THAT fast three times.

So when Burger King came out with their "Have it your way" commercials, I tried their Whopper (sans pickles, of course) and was hooked. Flame broiled rocks.

Here's a timeline of important McDonald's events:

LOL, Sarah...."A clean and snappy place!"

....now I'm hungry.

I miss the styrofoam boxes; it was fun to watch my dog chew them up.

Brendan, applause for that haiku.

"Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun."

I can't tell you how many hours of my life I wasted saying that over and over again. Hey, we were drunk and young and trying to entertain ourselves in suburbia.

Those styrofoam boxes aren't long gone, they're clogging landfills for MILLIONS of years to come. The hippies told me.

And all this talk of McDonald's and #2 makes me uneasy.

Yes, McDonald's has been and faithful to me over the years, and for that I am grateful. She's a dependable and handsome woman.

Still, I can't help but think of the torrid affair I had with Burger Chef in my youth. We had it all - heat, laughs, passion; we spent every available stolen minute together.

Then, one day, she was gone. Perhaps on a steamer bound for Paris, never to return. I'll never know for sure. But I'll always have the memories.

Hubris:

And Jeff? What became of him?

The first (and for the longest time, the only) McDonald's in Allen, Texas had the coolest playground, hands down. This was, of course, before they went to that plexiglass box known as "PlayZone," back when you could finish your Happy Meal and breathe honest-to-god fresh air.

The playground had the usual attractions: the twisting slide, spring mounted "horse" with a Big Mac for a head, etc. However, the coolest ride was a blue shaped cylinder. You got in, sat down, and twisted a brown disc in the middle to get it to spin. Can't say I've heard about anyone spewing special sauce all over, but we sure as hell gave it our best shot.

When I was a wee tot, back when dinosaurs walked the earth, my mom used to take my brother and me to Burger Chef for a Funburger if we were good while grocery shopping at Food Towne.

Then my brother grew up and went to work for Burger Chef. When they got bought out by Hardee's, they kept our local store a BC until the late 80s. The Super Shef was awesome.

SarahW,

Due to his ever-present leer, and his advancing age, I would guess he's registered as a former sexual predator in a town somewhere down here in Florida.

Just had #3 for lunch (which is a Double Quarter here in America's Vacation Destination™).

And I know this is controversial, but "I'm Lovin' It" is my favorite fast food jingle ever. ("Where's the Beef?" isn't a jingle so it doesn't count).

Finally, a haiku about those Burger King commercials:

A plastic-faced man
Peers into bedroom windows
Five years in jail

Finally, a haiku about those Burger King commercials:
A plastic-faced man
Peers into bedroom windows
Five years in jail

I just choked on my McDonald's iced tea!

Sarah...Jeff looks like he's had a few too many black coffees (with a spill-proof - did they spell that "spil-pruf"? - lid, of course).

I'm not sure where to go with this. I have a special place in my heart for Micky D's. I worked there for several years in the early 80's, and to this day people in my department at my high-stress corporate job ask my how I handle it so smoothly. I answer, "I worked breakfast shift in the McDs drive-thru. Everything else is easy, compared to that."

I've had to cut back because I'm on the down-slide in my weight yo-yo (lost 25 lbs this year). When I get to a maintainable weight, I'll stop by a few times. The supersize guy has it all wrong. It's not them, it's us. A box of McNuggets has far fewer calories than the "meal" salads at Ruby Tuesday. If you exercize regularly, a big mac meal (even supersized) isn't going to hurt anything. It'a all about the exercise.

That being said, I can't stand the McRib.

Personal trivia - I once started a flash-fire while cleaning the deep fryers. All I could say was "That's Soooo Cooool!"

I could go on and on. I'll just quit now...

Sadly, shortly after that SuperSize Me movie came out, McDonalds decided to discontinue "supersizing". You can still get "large" though. Hope you enjoy it!

The #2 has always been my favorite. I always put a handful of fries on each cheeseburger.

And speaking of the old Big Mac jingle, there was a joke I knew growing up (can't recall most of it now), the punchline was

"Two obese Pattys, Special Ross, Lester Sleaze picking bunions on a Sesame Street Bus"

Well, I like Mickey-Dees just fine in general, but I have to be the voice of dissent here against the 'I'm loving it' campaign, which has creeped me out from day one. I never could avoid the implication that these people were, um, doing things to their burgers that would make for a Wacky Late 90's Teen Sex Movie. (And that was before the 'I'd hit it' variation appeared and removed all doubt.)

Give me 'Two All beef patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickes Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun' any day. And someone give Grimace his other two arms back.

I eat my McDonald's fries the same way: extra salt, no ketchup. I'm not too fond of anything else but the hashbrowns and the fries, though.

Then again, I don't like ground beef, so it's not the venue, just the menu.

I never could avoid the implication that these people were, um, doing things to their burgers that would make for a Wacky Late 90's Teen Sex Movie.

You mean....I'm not...I wasn't supposed to be...

Well, damn.

O.M.G. Lisa ... I still say that to my kids. HA!

"If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean!"

Flashback to the 80's when I went off to college with $15 in my pocket and an apartment with 4 strangers to pay for and got a job at McD's. The training films were inane but I was very proud to be working for McD's. I felt as though I was part of a VERY big family.

We were paid very little but if you worked long enough, you would earn a whole meal AND money?!?! How can you beat that??

For the most part, I worked the weekend drive-thru night shift and saw my share of loonies. Also got the nickname Spazz ... could have something to do with the obscene amounts of soda and coffee I would drink to amp myself up to make it through a shift.

I was a birthday party 'hostess' for a while, when I was training for shift manager ... got to wear a red polyester vest and slacks along with my snazzy white striped blouse ... sexaay! I also made tips for entertaining the kids, which I wasn't supposed to take.

Can't go in a McD's today without looking at the numbers in the holding bin and counting how many items should have been thrown away already.

Ahh, the gool old days ... jeez, Michele, way to open up a floodgate!

McDonald’s Diary

It must have been as early as 2nd or 3rd grade when I would venture, along with older siblings and neighborhood kids to the local McDonald’s hamburger stand. At the time (about 1970) there was no inside seating and you would order through a window.

The ‘local’ place was about 5 miles from home and so we would take our bikes there on weekends or in the Summer time. By today’s standards it seems crazy—I cannot imagine my eldest daughter, who is 8, walking or riding her bike to the closest Friendly’s, which is only about 2 miles from home. Our parents didn’t seem to mind or care where we were when we were out playing as long as we didn’t get into trouble.

In thinking of that age, I don’t exactly remember being hungry all the time but I do recall that an extra meal was always welcome and would never spoil my appetite for the next scheduled meal. We would save up our allowance money and buy as much McDonald’s food as we could afford. If I have any regrets now, it is that I didn’t eat more of it then. I was skin-and-bones and an extra burger and fries would have made no difference, except for possibly making me more healthy. Now of course, I can easily afford far more food than I could consume and I could stand to lose 15-20 lbs and so I eat far less than my stomach will hold. I miss that golden era when I was young enough to eat a lot and yet old enough to afford as much as I wanted. In 7th and 8th grade I had the money from a paper route and those are the prime big-eating years. I would normally have a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder (with cheese), large fries and a milk shake. I would be full after all of this and it felt good!

Our parent’s would take us to McDonald’s from time to time—quite often after Sunday’s late morning mass. This was appreciated but not as good as when we kids went on our own. First, we had to wait until we were home before we could eat, instead of eating it hot right there at one of the picnic tables. Second, while my parents ordered enough food for us, they by no means ordered as much as we would have liked to eat!

All three of our daughters love to go to McDonald’s yet they hardly ever eat heartily and can best be described as ‘svelte’. Yet, they do eat enough to satisfy themselves and seem to enjoy it. They probably most like to go due to the play structure and Happy Meal toys that they get. It really is a good deal—they have fun, get fed and have something they can keep and the cost is very little.

Now, what do I think of Morgan Spurlock and his movie Super Size Me? Well, I don’t like to spend scarce time and money on anti-corporate agitprop. First of all, who in their right mind would think that an all-McDonald’s diet would be good for you? Why waste a perfectly good movie proving a moot point? Hey, if you think the food is gross or unhealthy, fine: Don’t eat there then! Why should you care if others don’t share your opinion? Please do not tell me that my health is your concern: I will not grant any rhetorical paving-stones for your Road to Serfdom project.

dbp

Can't go in a McD's today without looking at the numbers in the holding bin and counting how many items should have been thrown away already.

Sharon - you do that, too???? I've actually whispered to my wife while in line, "They need to put more fries down".

BTW, I don't think they literally throw away expired food anymore, most of them have contracts with charities that reclaim the food for the hungry (at least that's true here in Nashville)

If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean!

Aieeee! Flashbacks!!

I put my 5 years in with The Clown from '81-'86. And I am with Slart...as much as I hated that job, it taught me everything I need to know about doing a hundred things at once. Alone in grill... 20 minutes to close... everything's torn down... yeah, we can get outta here in 15...

We've got a BUS!

The local cops would come by at close and we'd give them whatever was in the bins, plus all the fries left.

McD's used to have the BEST birthday cakes. I don't know if they still use the same bakery, but back in my day, they were awesome.

Bun seed sesame a on onions, pickles, cheese, lettuce, sauce special patties beef all two.

We spent way too much time figuring out how to sing the jingle backwards!

Bus: worst word ever for a McD employee. The hair on the back of my neck just stood up.

Thanks to the Roman Catholic Church, I've had more filet 'o' fish sandwiches than I'd care to think about.

But, nothing beats their fries. Nothing! Of course, they used to be better back in the day when they were fried in animal fat.

Amybody remember the "two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a seseme seed bun" promotions of the 1970's?

If my memory serves me right during a specific ad campaign that if you could say it fast enough you could get a Big Mac for free.

Lisa, my McD's was just off the interstate. We'd get at least a bus a day. But nothing compared to the once-a-year Southern Baptist Youth convention. Forget all the other cliches about Southern Baptists - there's one that I know for sure is true - they can EAT! We'd see the buses pull up and yell, The Baptists are coming! The Baptists are coming!

More neat trivia - I can make a homemade egg Mcmuffin to Mcdonald's specifications, to this day. Egg rings are hard to find, but you can find them!

Recipe, please.

so much depends
upon

a metal-mouthed
teen

behind the drive-thru
window

beside the yellow
schoolbus.

My mom tells me that by the time I was three months old I knew when we were at McDonald's and would scream bloody murder until I got french fries. To this day they are still one of my favorite things.

When I was a little kid I knocked my two front teeth out on one of those Grimace Shake Shack things. The McDonald's was two blocks from my house and I ran all the way home screaming and dripping blood.

When I was a teenager all my friends worked there and would give us free food while we waited for them to get off work. And we could smoke there. They had little tin ashtrays. We spent a lot of time skipping school there.

Ahh, memories.

OK, If you do this right, it's all done in 5 minutes. You do so many things at one time, it takes practice to get right.

First, Preheat a pretty large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Then, put English muffins in toaster. Make sure they're on a setting to get good and toasty.
Spray your egg ring with non-stick cooking spray. Put in on one side of the skillet, open one egg into it. Break the yolk immediately (This is important). Let egg cook until there's just a little bit of liquid left a the top. Pull away the egg ring, and turn over. At this time, place your canadian bacon on the skillet. Your muffins will come out at this time also - place a slice of American cheese on one of the muffin slices.

After about 30 seconds, the egg is ready. Take it off and place it on the cheese. Turn the canadian bacon and cook for about 15 seconds. Put it on top of the egg, topped by the other slice of muffin. Viola!

I have many variations, my favorite being to use a wheat bagel and sugar-cured bacon instead of muffins and canadian bacon. Yum.

While we decry the homogenization, these chains prosper. Why?

Because of the D.

McDonalds is the same all over, and it gives you a place to go and feel like you're still only a block from home. I think that's a good thing (with apologies to the jail ho for stealing her catchphrase). The D is what got us looking for those places that gave us a sense of familiarity...and the other companies just followed suit.

So...hate the strip mall, but if you didn't eat at the D, they wouldn't be where they are today. Me? I love the D. I'm'a get me some Mickey D's tonight dammit.

Two all beef patties
Special sauce, lettuce, cheese, is
Michael Moore's diet.

I'm particularly proud of that haiku, I have to say. patting self on back

Slartibartfast....sounds yummy! My daughter is hooked on fried egg sandwiches, but this is a better alternative. I have a round metal biscuit cutter that I figure will work well for the egg ring.

Thank you!

I hate the fact that McRibs appear once in a blue moon and just when you get to McDonald's to order them.. they go back into the Land of Seasonal Menu Items.

I never worked at a Mcdonalds, but I worked at a Wendy's. Worst job ever. I think every kid, though, should have a fast-food job experience.

McD's?

Last time I went in there,
they stole my underwear.

(My kind of place)

At the risk of showing my age, I remember when hamburgers and fries were each 15 cents. And then everyone got pissed when they went to 20 cents. Yikes.

My McDonald's Haiku:

Quarter pound "meat" slab
Is there milk in the milk shake
Nightmare burger clown?

Lesson Learned: A Haiku

McDonald's taught me
That toking in the freezer
Intensifies high

Two years of chirping, "Hi, welcome to McDonald's, may I take your order?" Two years of my life I'll never have back.

The "Literally Lovin' It" Haiku:

Double Cheeseburger?
I'd hit it! I'm a dollar
menu guy. Lovin' it.

Dangit. I need to learn how to count.

I love McD's and I will loudly argue with my friends who think I'm poisoning my kids with their eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeviiiilll!food. They can stuff rabbit food down their kids gullet, that's fine. More fries for me.

When I was growing up we ate at McD's more than once a week since my mom never cooked anything. Thank god for a good metabolism!

I'm very loyal to McD's because of the corporation itself. When I was born I needed an operation in order to live. At the time I was the youngest person in the world to have it done (something they can probably do inutero now). Of course my parents, not having gainful employment, had no money to pay for it. Some kind and generous and sadly annonymous person through the Ronald McDonald Foundation paid every single cent of it.

Mc Donalds always has my loyalty and I always put my change in the donation bin. The Super Size guy can kiss my ass.

As for the "what did they do to the food" stories, my first job was at McD's when I was 16, and we used to toss the plastic cup covers into the hot oil and watch 'em turn all Salvador Dali.

Gotta give a shout for the Mc Rib. Pure McD's goodness.

Ah, the blessed #2.

Also my favorite, though I eat at McD's so seldom that I order it as follows:

#2, Supersize, replace the drink with a chocolate shake.

Gotta give a shout out to the McDLT. Keeps the hot side hot and the cool side cool. Man I miss that one....the Big 'N Tasty (Messy) isn't even in the same league.

Mmmmmm and their Egg McMuffins and Breakfast Bagels....Yummm!!!

Bri2k

Bri2K,
I call the Big n Tasty the Big n Nasty (it's a lot less messy if you wipe the bun off first!).

Ahhh, McDonalds.

I love that place. The McDonalds in my hometown by the campus is the best I've even been to. Why? Because it is always adaquately staffed, and they even have a live person take your drive through order! Quite cool. They always have a drive thru operator, 5-6 people making food in the back, and at least 3 people taking orders in the front during peak times.

Also, my McDonalds marketing experience growing up was the "do you believe in magic?" campagin. Great campaign, really - catchy song, targets kids who then bug parents to get McDs (I know. I was one of those kids.)

Now Kohls department stores has commited blasphemy by taking that ditty and putting it in their ad campaign. I don't CARE if the words are different, its still messing with my head! The Kohls campaign is not having the desired effect, because my first impulse is to think of McDonalds and to yell at Kohls.

I'm lovin it also comes in as one of the best marketing ditties in a while.

I'm down with McDonalds. Screw Morgan Spurlock and his army of wow-you-mean-overeating-is-bad-for-you dittoheads.

My two favorite McDonalds memories :

1) The McDonalds in Montana, near a cattle ranch or SOMETHING because the hamburgers were 29c and the cheeseburgers 39c. This was in 1997! We bought 8, in all different configurations. Like donuts!

2) The McRib. As with any GREAT WORK OF ART some LOVE it and some HATE it but no-one can ignore it. I personally love it, although I no longer eat meat. Of course, I'm not exactly convinced that the McRib is meat. They use a similar barbeque sauce on their new veggie sandwich.. but they also microwave it which makes it soggy and gross. I am definitely down with the McRib, even if I will never eat another one.

Viva Ronald.

=darwin